Life is either a great adventure or nothing. – Helen Keller
A few years ago, Karen and I along with our two sons went to Six Flags Amusement Park. I have always enjoyed riding rollercoasters and I had never tackled Six Flags’ Goliath. The Goliath Rollercoaster is a steel Hyper Coaster which reaches a maximum height of 200 feet and reaches top speeds of 70 mph. It is over a mile long. In 2013, it was voted the the 7th best steel roller coaster. It is a beast to ride.
Always up for an adventure, I rode by myself for no one wanted to ride with me. It definitely lived up to its name – Goliath. It was fast. It was long but there was no one with whom I could laugh, scream, or yell. When I got off, I had endured something challenging but invigorating. I was high off of excitement but I had no one to share the experience. The aftermath of experiencing it all by myself was a huge let down.
Life in Christ is adventure. It is a journey not to be experienced alone. Like a rollercoaster, life has its ups and downs. We need others to take on the hard hills of life and face the challenges together. We also need others with whom we can laugh and celebrate.
Every big thing God has called you to do He will do it through community. Every person throughout the Bible needed community to achieve God’s purpose for their life including Jesus. Remember, He had 12 guys to help him.
Who wants to go to Six Flags by themselves? Who would like to explore the Magic Kingdom at Disney World by yourself? Life is always better when you are with someone. Doing life together matters. We can do more with others than we can do by ourselves. You need community because it will help you become a stronger, more powerful Christian.
The Bible says that:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
28 Olympic medal winner and swimmer, Michael Phelps was not able to achieve his medals including 18 gold medals without his coach, Bob Bowman. Bowman tried to discipline him through tough training sessions. Armed with a psychology degree, he knew exactly how to push his buttons to propel him to his limits to get the best out of Phelps.
“I’ve always tried to find ways to give him adversity in either meets or practice and have him overcome it,” Bowman has said, “The higher the level of pressure, the better Michael performs. As expectations rise, he becomes more relaxed … That’s what makes him the greatest.”
This relationship reminds me of a scripture from Proverbs 27:17:
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Bowman sharpened Phelps all the way to gold. There were some hard times but gold erases all of the memories of the hard times.
In your growth in Christ, people will come into your life to make things hard. They will ask the hard question and keep accountability to pull out the best out of you. You will win this race called life. Learn to embrace the hard.
Riding a roller coaster by yourself sucks. Riding with others creates life long stories. A year later, my nephew would come visit. He and I conquored Goliath together and we have video to prove it. We still look at it and laugh today. No matter how high, how long, or how hard, Life is always better with others. Endure the discipline. It is what make an extraordinary follower of Christ.